Ambassador Bouhlal, as the Chair of the Council of Arab Ambassadors chaired, on April 21st, a ceremony on the occasion of the celebration of the 9th edition of Arab-Japan Day, with the participation of several notables figures, including the Japanese Prime Minister, HEM. Suga Yoshihide.
Held in a virtual format given the restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, this ceremony was marked by the participation of nearly 190 guests, including the Japanese Minister in charge of Administrative Reform, and former Japanese Foreign Minister, Mr. Kono Taro, the State Minister for Defense, Mr. Nakayama Yasuhide, the Governor of Tokyo, Ms. Koike Yuriko, several members of Parliament, members of the Arab diplomatic corps, as well as several figures of business and media.
Kicking off this event, Mr. Bouhlal said he was delighted with the level of participation of the Japanese authorities in the Japan-Arab Day, in particular that of the Head of the Japanese government, stressing that this participation, despite the pandemic Covid-19, reflects the depth of relations between Japan and the Arab world.
During his speech, HEM. Suga renewed his respect to all members committed to fortifying relations between both Japan and Arab nations, adding that « the peace and stability of the Middle East is vital for the entire international community as the region provides energy resources to the world and is strategically located from a geopolitical perspective».
Amidst his praise, HEM. Suga reflected on the difficulties and hardships faced by the Arab region, highlighting the global impacts of COVID-19 and reiterating Japan’s support and readiness to deliver assistance. He also touched on Japan’s contribution to ensuring delivery and access of vaccines to Arab countries through their financial support of the COVAX Facility.
Minister Kono stressed that “We are very much looking forward to deepening the relationship in spite of COVID-19,” expressing his wish that Arab nations and Japan can deepen their relationship in terms of politics and regional security.
As the minister in charge of the vaccine roll out, Mr. Kono stressed his concern over ‘vaccine nationalism’ spreading around the world, and shared hope that Japan and Arab nations can work together in the fight against COVID-19.